27 September 2019

Insurtech roundup: Bold Penguin; CyberFortress; Omni:us; Marsh; Hannover Re US; Swiss Re

Bold Penguin raises $32m in series B funding round

Who’s involved: Bold Penguin, a US commercial insurtech startup; and multiple investors: Hudson Structured Capital Management, Lightstone, Guggenheim Insurance, Lockton and Stone Point Capital.

What’s happening: Bold Penguin has completed a $32m series B funding round, bringing its total funding to more than $50m to date. Private equity firms Hudson Structured Capital Management, Lightstone, insurers Guggenheim and Lockton, and existing investors and individuals from Stone Point Capital participated in the funding round.

Significance of development: The additional capital will help Bold Penguin enhance its platform, expand in excess and surplus lines, and maintain the pact at which admitted carriers are integrated to the platform, which supports 950,000 businesses.


CyberFortress raises $3m seed funding

Who’s involved: CyberFortress, an insurtech startup that protects e-commerce companies from cyber threats; and venture capital firms Greycroft and LiveOak Venture Partners.

What’s happening: CyberFortress has closed a $3m seed round co-led by Greycroft and LiveOak Venture Partners.

Significance of development: CyberFortress is building a parametric, online revenue interruption policy for e-commerce companies that insures them against the risk of downtime resulting from a range of potential cyber events including cyber-attacks, internal errors, or third-party failure.

The funds will be used to expand CyberFortress’ product development team in order to accelerate its product launch in the Texas market, which is anticipated for early 2020.


Omni:us gets €1.6m EU grant to develop AI claims platform

Who’s involved: Artificial intelligence (AI) technology firm Omni:us; and the European Commission.

What’s happening: Berlin-based Omni:us has been awarded €1.6m ($1.8m) from the European Commission to help it develop its machine learning-powered insurance claims platform. The grant came from the Commission’s European Innovation Council as part of Horizon 2020, a EU’s research and innovation programme that funds projects aimed at securing Europe’s place as a world leader in technological innovation.

Significance of development: The funding, which Omni:us will receive over two years, will allow it to move quicker to market, building relationships with insurers across Europe and the US, while spreading awareness on the benefits AI can deliver to the industry.


Marsh pilots blockchain-powered insurance placement

Who's involved: Marsh, an insurance broker and risk adviser; US chemical firm Dow; SharkNinja, a maker of vacuum cleaners and juice blenders; and insurers AIG and Euler Hermes.

What's happening: Marsh is piloting Risk Exchange, a digital placement platform powered by blockchain technology. Marsh’s clients Dow and SharkNinja will bind US trade credit policies with carriers AIG and Euler Hermes, receiving real-time status updates and notifications throughout the process.

Significance of development: Risk Exchange has the potential to transform the insurance placement process toward an interactive, digital experience where clients, carriers and Marsh brokers can provide real-time information and feedback on the placement and binding process.


Hannover Re US and Sweatcoin to launch joint research project

Who’s involved: Hannover Life Reassurance Company of America (Hannover Re US); and Sweatcoin, a digital health platform.

What’s happening: The parties have joined forces to study the link between physical activity and individual health. Physical inactivity is said to be among the leading contributors of premature mortality.

Significance of development: Tony Laudato, head of partnership solutions at Hannover Re US, said: “The outcome of this research effort will have a valuable impact on our understanding of the connection between physical activity and mortality/morbidity risks”.


Samsung and Swiss Re subsidiary team up to close protection gap

Who’s involved: Korean technology firm Samsung Electronics; and iptiQ Americas, a life and health insurer that is part of Swiss Re.

What’s happening: Samsung is to help the insurer’s goal to close the $26trn life and health insurance protection gap. Samsung is testing solutions to better inform consumers, improve healthy behaviours, and potentially identify and prevent serious health conditions, such as heart disease.

Significance of development: Through the partnership, Samsung and iptiQ are looking at ways to improve the relationship between insurers and consumers. The collaboration aims to help millions of middle market consumers have better access to life and health insurance.